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Xavier Magazine | May 29, 2017

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What to Be or No(t) Be: There’s an App for That

What to Be or No(t) Be: There’s an App for That
By France Griggs Sloat

What do you want to be—or no(t) be—when you grow up? That’s the question Julie and Kelsey Murphy want to help job-seekers of all ages answer, using their newly developed “benobe” app.

The mother-daughter Xavier duo—Julie is a 1985 graduate, while Kelsey is a junior this year—worked with a co-founder in Oregon and created a web-based and iPhone-based application that helps people from about age 13 and up explore potential careers.

“There’s a lot of emphasis, especially from sixth grade on up, focusing on college readiness, which is a great thing,” Julie says. “But there’s very little emphasis placed on, ‘What do I want to be?’”

Using the application, job-seekers get a feel for what a career entails, as well as which schools and employers in their area can help them get the job they want. Users hit “be” or “no be” for each career they consider. The app has about 1,000 careers to search, including some, such as environmental, that didn’t even exist a decade ago. Kelsey, who is majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship, is working with high school guidance counselors in Greater Cincinnati, encouraging them and their students to try the app.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from counselors. They really believe in connecting students’ passions to their future careers.”

Counselors also appreciate the fact that the information comes in forms that today’s young people want—on their phones, with video, infographics, text and images—as well as on a computer, Kelsey says. The app will be available for Android phones in January 2016.

Julie, who earned degrees in accounting and information services, says she owes much to Xavier, including meeting husband Dan Murphy. And though both her majors are in technical fields, she thoroughly appreciates the liberal arts aspects of her education.

“Xavier really taught me to open my eyes to the realm of possibility, and to challenge things in an effective manner, not to create chaos, but create solutions,” Julie says.

For Kelsey, working with her mother is both “a blessing” and an education in and of itself. Learn more at www.benobe.com.

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